Weather Blog

School of 'jellyfish' clouds make another pass over Puget Sound

School of 'jellyfish' clouds make another pass over Puget Sound
Photo: Wade B. Clark, Jr.

If you happened to look up around 11:15 a.m. or so on Wednesday, you were treated to a brief show of cirrus clouds that made it look like the sky was once again being attacked by floating jellyfish.

These clouds have already made a few appearances this summer, but display might be one of the more impressive ones.

These two photos were taken by Wade B. Clark, Jr. from Sedro-Woolley:

And these next two were snapped by Doug Tanaka from Bainbridge Island, looking out toward Indianola:

And here is time lapse video taken from the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Department:

And here is from Dr. Dale Ireland in Silverdale:

The clouds get their look from ice crystals being shed inside. Since the crystals are so tiny, they drift away rather than fall like rain drops and give these exaggerated tail appearances.

Here is one explanation of how these cirrus "fall clouds" form and here are some of the physics behind the clouds' unique shapes